Friday, June 30, 2006

The Corner Of My Eye

The train is only six carriages long. I sit in one of the seats in a row of three, facing the opposite window. A young man sits next to me, and next to him, his girlfriend.

He is a sniffer. One of those who have a runny nose but no will to blow it. They prefer to sniff up the same pool of liquid snot at thirty second intervals throughout the duration of the forty minute train journey.

So I look at him out of the corner of my eye, with disgust.

And there I see his girlfriend's hand. Not only is he a sniffer, but she is a thigh holder. Her hand rests on the inside of his thigh, about an inch from his meat and two veg.

The hand only leaves its resting place in order to turn the page of her magazine, then goes straight back to base, giving a little rub as it arrives.

Does he enjoy this proximity as he sniffs in his snot? In full view of a carriage full of commuters?

And what is she saying to us? "This belongs to me, ladies and gents"? "So hands off"?

I'm sure she asks him in a whisper at one point if he has a tissue.

I'm not so sure she wants it for his nose.


  1. HOW GROSS! I would regularly ask sniffing students if they would like a tissue and receive a very polite reply of 'No Thanks'.
    At least if they were thigh grabbing under the bench I knew they were enjoying the lesson.

  2. Really made me laugh this one. My hubby has a real thing about this and goes red in the face in train carriages etc when people start to do that. Although, I'm not averse to a bit of thigh squeezing. I need it to calm him down during the sniffing episodes!!

    But...have you noticed how on buses especially, everybody's breath smells of faecal matter? (Not mine of course) I think there must be something about South London transport that causes physiological changes of state. Snot and faeces. Great!

  3. In the early 90s I got the Northern Line for about a year. My snot was black. But I never sniffed it up.

    Middle aged men's breaths smell of cold germs on South Eastern trains.

  4. Good job you never sniffed it up. EW!